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  • Hamilton's first flying lap in Q3 enough to secure pole
  • Rosberg takes P2 ahead of Williams on row two and McLaren on row three
  • Alonso seventh, Ricciardo P9, Raikkonen drops out in Q2

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix with team-mate Nico Rosberg set to start alongside him at Monza.

Hamilton put down a strong marker on the first runs in Q3, pulling out a gap of 0.4s between himself and Rosberg - who was under pressure from Valtteri Bottas having only completed three laps in FP3 due to a gearbox issue. Williams had looked strong throughout qualifying, finishing closely behind the two Mercedes' in the first two parts of the session, but Rosberg gave himself breathing space on his final run as he improved to within 0.3s of Hamilton, who didn't improve.

Bottas held on to third ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa, with the two McLarens of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button locking out row three. Fernando Alonso will start from seventh place at Ferrari's home race, alongside Sebastian Vettel, with Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez rounding out the top ten.

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Kimi Raikkonen was the big casualty of Q2 as he dropped out in 12th position, being beaten by Magnussen at the end of the second part of the session. More concerning for Raikkonen - in front of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo - was the 0.6s gap to team-mate Alonso.

Daniil Kvyat also managed to get ahead of Raikkonen in to P11 but a 10-place grid penalty for using a sixth internal combustion engine means he will start down in 21st place. Jean-Eric Vergne was 13th in the other Toro Rosso ahead of a disappointing Nico Hulkenberg - the lowest Mercedes-powered car - Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.

Q1 saw both Lotus cars struggle - as the team conceded it expected to this weekend - and Pastor Maldonado was unable to complete a final flying lap as he was told not to change gear due to a potential issue. Maldonado did outqualify team-mate Romain Grosjean, however, with the two Lotus cars separated by 0.1s as Grosjean could only emerge late in the session due to a fluid leak.

Kamui Kobayashi delivered an impressive performance on his return to Caterham by outqualifying both Marussia cars with his final flying lap, finishing just 0.039s slower than Grosjean. Having been told he was ahead of Jules Bianchi, Kobayashi replied over the radio: "Wow, that's mega". Kobayashi's team-mate Marcus Ericsson was slowest and 0.9s off the lead Caterham, while Max Chilton was half a second off Bianchi's time.


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Supermario: NIco said you take pole and I'll take win. Nico will beat L.H in race by fair and squire. [\blockquote]

I'd take your crystal ball back if I were you, it's clearly broken.........